Chance Bothe had some prophetic words just before his truck plummeted off a cliff, nearly killing him: “I need to quit texting, because I could die in a car accident.”
The 21-year-old sent the text just before his truck veered off the road, crashing through a Texas bridge and into a ravine, The Huffington Post reported. Chance Bothe somehow survived the incident, though he suffered brain injuries and broke nearly every bone in his body, including his skull and neck. He also had to be brought back from the brink of death three times, WBTV reported.
After a six-month stay in the hospital, during which he faced a number of surgeries to reconstruct his broken body and a rehabilitation regimen that included learning how to speak again, Chance Bothe was released from the hospital this week.
Chance Bothe is now speaking publicly for the first time, warning others about the dangers of texting while driving.
“Don’t do it. It’s not worth losing your life,” Bothe told the New York Daily News. “I went to my grandmother’s funeral not long ago, and I kept thinking, it kept jumping into my head, I’m surprised that’s not me up in that casket. I came very close to that, to being gone forever.”
Bothe’s family has joined the crusade as well.
“If I had a kid 16 years old starting to drive, they could have a phone but the texting feature wouldn’t be on it,” Bothe’s father told KHOU.
Chance Bothe’s texting while driving accident casts an even bigger spotlight on the issue of distracted driving. Though officials say it is hard to put an exact figure to it, the number of crashes caused by texting or other high-tech distractions has increased dramatically.
“Unfortunately we’re seeing more and more patients here that had their brain injuries as a result of texting and driving. And unfortunately I don’t think we’re going to see a decrease in that anytime soon,” Jacob Joseph, Chance Bothe’s doctor with the Specialty Rehabilitation Program at TIRR Memorial, told ABC13.